A quick hurricane update

Well, the power is out again, so I don’t want to waste too much phone battery, but I wanted to give everyone a quick update of our status.

We’re FINE.

I went exploring briefly this morning (okay, I was seeing if I could find a cup of coffee…no dice) and every traffic light in our town is out. There is a lot of debris and branches and I passed three downed power lines. It’s still a bit windy, but not too bad.


But again, we are fine.

Both our offices are closed for the day (not that I could get to the city anyway since the trains are still shut off), so for now we’re just hanging out. Fun fact: The aftermath of hurricanes is kind of dull.


Right now my biggest concerns are how long we have before all our refrigerated food soils and everything I have to catch up on at work.

Which, given the alternatives, are two pretty take concerns to have.

Hopefully everyone else is staying safe too!

How I’m getting through the hurricane.

So, as you have probably heard (unless you live under a rock), the East Coast is currently making the acquaintance of a little gal named Sandy.

Word to the wise: She’s a bit of a B. Don’t invite her to your parties.

But surviving a hurricane isn’t all bad. Today, pretty much every office in New York was closed. (And even if it wasn’t, the LIRR was shut down, so there was no commuting forthis little lady in the forecast.)

I was able to do a bit of work from home, but for the most part, I used the time to have an ironically Martha Stewart-themed day. Here’s everything I accomplished:

1. Cross-Stitch Family Project

A couple of week ago at the Martha Stewart’s American Made Workshop, I got a cross-stitch kit. Today, I used this tutorial to create this:

Adorbs, right? I’m in love with it.

2. Baked Peanut-Butter Oatmeal Cookies

I used this Martha recipe for the basics, but I subbed the chocolate chips for peanut butter chips (since Joey has that weird thing with chocolate) and added a teaspoon of cinnamon. It has to be said, there’s nothing like freshly baked cookies on a rainy day.

3. Painting Craft

I got this little wooden box at the Martha Stewart Tag Sale last week for like, 10 cents, and I decided to use it to hold all the business cards I get at meetings with potential partners. (Because buying a legit Rolodex just sounds sad.)

I painted the outside with Martha Stewart Chalkboard Paint, and the inside with a pretty periwinkle paint I had leftover from another project. It’s still in process (the power went out briefly and it turns out it’s hard to paint in the dark), but here’s what it looks like thus far:

So…yeah. Like I said, domestic day.

For now, I’m just hoping the power stays on a while longer to help stave off the boredom.

Hope anyone else in the storm is staying safe!

Review: NYC New York Color IndividualEyes Custom Compact

Ready for another Influenster Beauty Blogger VoxBox review?

Well…one’s coming your way whether you like it or not. Deal.

Today, we’re talking about the NYC New York Color IndividualEyes Custom Compact.

It has to be said that I don’t think I’ve purchased a NYC New York Color cosmetic since…well…I started wearing makeup in the eighth grade, and I would guess it was around that time. In general, I get the impression that their products aren’t especially high quality (thus the extremely affordable price), and I tend to gravitate toward products with better ingredients.

However, I’m always willing to give something a second chance.

My compact was made up of various shades of gray along with a highlighting color. I played around with using the shades as they were intended (brow bone, crease, all-over, etc.), but the resulting look was, well, harsh. See also: clownish.

After wiping that off (cheaper ingredients do tend to wipe off easily, after all), I basically ignored the super dark colors and stuck with the highlighting color and silvery grays, topping the whole thing with a dusting of my favorite latte-colored shadow. (Sorry, NYC, but my skin tone does not take cool, steely colors at all.)

This had a much more flattering effect.

I could see myself incorporating the colors into my current makeup regimen (especially when I’m going for a heavier look), and I liked the skin primer that came in the compact, but I doubt I’ll be running out to buy another compact any time soon.

Final grade: C

The only thing left in my VoxBox to try are a pair of fake eyelashes, and while I’m a big fan of falsies for special events, these are pretty intense. Not sure where I’ll be able to wear them, but I’ll let you know what I think if/when I do.

Have you tried any of NYC’s makeup products recently? What did you think?

In which I release all my feelings about The Walking Dead

Listen…we need to talk about something real quick. And that something is the AMC TV show The Walking Dead.

The third season just started a couple of weeks ago, but Joey and I just started watching it a little over a week ago from the beginning.

Suffice to say, we’ve finished the first two seasons in that time and will most likely be completely caught up by the end of the day. We. Just. Can’t. Stop. Watching.

The two of us getting hooked on a television show is not a rare phenomenon. And one of our favorite ways to pass a weekend is watching a season or two of a show we like in one sitting. (The cheap thrill of no commercials just never gets old.) So why is TWD blog-worthy?

Well…I’m not sure. I think it has something to do with the fact that I can’t figure out why I like it.

I mean, the writing is terribly predictable. (Sometimes Joey or I will actually say the character’s line out loud seconds before they do. We know what they are going to say.)

And, especially in the first season, the acting is not that stellar. (Has anyone else noticed that every character has about one expression? Dale had that wide-eyed “you just ate my lunch right in front if me” stare, Shane was always sporting that slack-jawed mouth-breather thing…it’s distracting.)

And, historically, I hate gore of any kind. (Though, to be fair, the “gore” here is pretty campy. In a few scenes, it’s blatantly chocolate sauce, not even bothered to be colored red.)

Plus, it has to be said, every character is annoying at least once per episode. (Well, except Darryl. He seem to be the only one with any real sense about anything. If he turns walker on us, we should all just give up.) But for the most part, they’re all just so dang stupid and careless.

Here are three live-saving lessons I learned in the first, oh, ten minutes of the show:

1. Stop wandering off by yourself. Stop going anywhere by yourself. Ever. NO EXCEPTIONS.

2. Walkers are not capable of sneaking up on you given the fact that they are never seen not moaning or gasping or growling or dragging their feet or bumping into things or generally making feral animal noises. AND YET, they have snuck up on no less than a dozen people in the last two seasons. I think everyone just needs to start paying more attention.

3. Everyone needs to start taking the whole “keep an eye on your children at all times” thing a little more seriously. I mean…really, you guys. We’re in the zombie apocalypse here. Can we please stop assuming Carl is in his room like you told him to be?

There are a lot of other issues I could list about specific characters (I’m looking at you, Lori), but I don’t want to spoil anything if you haven’t watched it yet. (If you have watched it…email me. We shall discuss.)

Anyway, the point is, I’m don’t think everyone in the show is taking their situation seriously, despite being painfully over-dramatic about everything. It’s a weird juxtaposition.

So, again, why can’t I stop watching?

I posted something about the show on Facebook last night, and my friend Lindsey compared the show to a car wreck. It’s so bad, but you can’t look away. (Though she might have been referencing the gore.)

Joey and I describe it like this: The show is more like a movie than a television show. It’s not a plot line that can be sustained for nine seasons, or whatever. It’s basically a long-form thriller. It’s based on a graphic novel (that I haven’t read), which doesn’t necessarily mean it will end as quickly as the writing it’s based on (Gossip Girl proved that to us all, amiright?), but it’s worth noting that the original story (I assume) had a more succinct beginning, middle, and end than a standard television series. (If someone has read the novel and I’m way off base, feel free to correct me.)(WITHOUT REVEALING ANY SPOILERS OR I’LL HATE YOU.)

What all that adds up to is that in my brain, I’m watching a long, intense movie and I just need to know how it ends. I have a lot of questions, especially after Jenner’s secret was revealed and that mysterious helicopter made its second appearance and Andrea met her new friend in the woods. I JUST NEED ANSWERS.

And I’m probably going to keep on watching until I get them. Which, I would imagine, was the desired effect.

Do any of you watch The Walking Dead? Do you share any of my annoyances or theories? Are you equally, though inexplicably, obsessed? OBSESS WITH ME.

Review: Goody Simple Styles Spin Pins

Last night, I had an incredibly stressful dream where I had nothing to wear to a friends’ wedding in a cramped mansion. (Actually, it might have just been a fancy party…no one really clarified.)

What I do know is that everyone was dressed in incredibly trendy outfits, and I was there in, like, a colonial woman’s traditional dress.

The worst part was that I finally found a dress that I deemed suitable (though, in hindsight, I have no idea why dream Justine was so pleased with a brown suede embroidered cocktail dress with brown tights…no idea at all) when suddenly I realized that my (for whatever reason) phosphorescent lime green underwear was blatantly visible through the back. After shaking off the irritation that none of my friends (all of whom were present and milling around the mansion’s foyer) had pointed this out to me, I quickly ducked into one of three “dressing rooms” made up of heavy velvet draperies that someone had conveniently set up in the sitting room in case guests needed to change before the party.

Because that’s something that happens.

The problem was, the dressing rooms were crammed with old clothing (I think someone was also moving into/out of the mansion…?), and the second I took my dress off and put it down, I could not for the life of me find it again.

I kept picking up dresses that looked like mine when they were on the floor, but as soon as I put them on, they transformed into something dowdy or just plain hideous. (You know, something not nearly as fashionable as brown embroidered suede…)

I vividly remember that every dress was this weird length on me, hitting right at that spot on my legs necessary to achieve maximum frumpiness. I vividly remember this, guys.

The worst part was that everyone was getting impatient with me, so every time I picked up a new dress, I was like, “Don’t stress, guys, I found it,” and they would start clearing away the unwanted clothes and tearing down the dressing room curtains, and then I would realize this was not, in fact, the right dress and try to stop them and grab something different, but there were fewer and fewer options the more they cleared away and my friends were starting to abandon me to go to the party/wedding without me instead of waiting.

And then I woke up. And I’m obviously still a bit rattled because when was the last time I told you about a dream I had? (Just kidding. I know the answer to that question. It was September 24, 2010. THIS IS WHY I WRITE DOWN MY LIFE.)

But the point is, I don’t understand my brain. And I may be mildly too obsessed with clothes.


SPEAKING OF FASHION AND STYLE (sort of), I have another Influenster Beauty Blogger VoxBox review to throw your way. (And so ends the least graceful segue in history.)

I have really thick hair. (On my head…I’m not a wildebeest.) It’s also pretty long and I tend to have it cut with a lot of layers to keep it from feeling like a 100-pound tapestry on the back of my neck. The only problem with layers, though, is they make it pretty difficult to create that blogger-favorite hairstyle, the topknot.

For the record, the Internet is a little conflicted about whether or not the topknot (or ballerina bun or whatever) is still in, but I say any hairstyle that gets all your hair off your face and out of the way will always be in in my book.

But anyway. Sometimes it’s not the easiest look to execute. So when I received a pair of Goody Simple Styles Spin Pins, I was pretty jazzed to see if they worked.


All you do is create a bun or twist, and then twist in the spin pins like cork screws, one on each side of the style, to hold it in place. And since they come in the same color as your hair, they virtually vanish.

I created this bun with my two:

Total disclosure: I had to use a couple of hairpins to tuck in some shorter layers that were sticking out, but the rest of the style is kept completely secure by the spin pins. And if you’re not as Type A as I am, you might not mind a few piece-y bits sticking out anyway.

So there you have it!

Anyone else use these spin pins before? Or have a dream they want to share with the class? Tell me about it in the comments.

How to: Super-Simple Egg Cups

I rarely start the morning without breakfast. And in general, I prefer to eat eggs or something with a lot of protein (lest I find myself utterly famished at, like, 9:30 a.m.).

The only problem? A full breakfast can take a lot of time to prepare. And when you’re already waking up before the sun to make it to work on time, the last thing you want is to have to get up earlier to factor in cooking time.

I’ve shared my TOP SECRET (not) recipe for the 2-Minute Egg Sandwich, and while this is still one of my favorite meals (weird, I know), sometimes a girl needs a bit more. Like, you know, a vegetable.

I try to sneak in as many servings of produce throughout the day as I can. I never make a smoothie without throwing in a few handfuls of kale or spinach, and my afternoon snack almost always includes a piece of fruit. So while the egg sandwich dominates in terms of ease and heartiness, it’s kind of a failure in terms of vitamins and minerals.

Which is why I was pretty excited to learn about egg cups.

I’m certainly not the first person to make egg cups or egg muffins, as they’re sometimes called on Pinterest, so I claim no culinary genius here, but I figured I’d share my favorite (and super simple) way to make them.

Super-Simple Egg Cups

12 eggs (I use veggie-fed, cage-free eggs…because I’m a tiny bit of a hippie.)
2 red bell peppers
1 white onion
3 cups of spinach, chopped
Hot sauce (optional…but recommended)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine the above ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and stir to combine.
3. Lightly spray a muffin tin with cooking spray or canola oil.
4. Distribute the egg mixture in the muffin tin cups and bake for 30-50 minutes. Serve warm with a couple dashes of hot sauce if desired.

BAM. Breakfast is served.

You can serve them all at once if you’re having company, or the egg cups will keep for about four days in a sealed container in the fridge. Microwave two at a time for 40 seconds to reheat for breakfast all week.

Not bad, eh? What would you put in your egg cups?


Review: Influenster Beauty Blogger VoxBox

Ah, fall. The leaves are changing, the air is cooling…and the fall Influenster Beauty Blogger VoxBoxes are arriving.

I think it’s obvious why this is my favorite season.

Some of you may remember the first time I participated in a VoxBox product review. I sort of dropped the ball last time and only really reviews a couple of the samples. (Oops…) So this time around, I want to really cover everything. Starting with…

First up, the Bath & Body Works Mini Candle.

I received the Cider Lane scent, which, come on. Right up my alley. I lit the tiny, spicy-scented candle about an hour before I had company over Saturday night, and the first thing my guests said when they walked in the door was how amazing it smelled in the apartment. That’s a win.

Bath & Body Works Mini Candles = A+

Next up, I tried EBOOST, a packed of effervescent drink mix that touts the ability to boost your mood, focus, and immunity with natural ingredients and no crash. Sounds pretty good, right?

I received the orange flavor, which made me a little nervous because I generally don’t like orange flavored things. (I had a bad experience with an orange-flavored medication as a child. I don’t want to talk about it.)

But (surprise, surprise!) I actually really liked this. It’s lightly fizzy, and the flavor actually did remind me more of a real orange than something artificial. (Though, if I bought it, I would probably get the Pink Lemonade or Acai Pomegranate flavor it also comes in.) Plus, it was a great drink the morning after a hectic week of late nights.

EBOOST Drink Packet = A

Finally, I tried out Not Your Mother’s Smooth Moves Frizz Control Hair Cream, a smoothing hair cream that fights out-of-control hair and reduces styling time with coconut and silk extracts.

I’m always on the look-out for a new amazing hair product. (You guys know how often my hair is a subject of concern in my life.)(Gawd that makes me sound shallow. Just trust me I think about other things, too.)

Anyway. I applied the cream after towel-drying my hair, and the first thing I noticed was how smoothly it applied. I combed my hair with a wide-toothed comb to evenly distribute the product and then let everything air-dry a bit.

No makeup whaaaaat?

Next, it was time to blow-dry. And in the name of total transparency, here’s what my hair looked like right after I finished blow-drying (meaning no other styling/curling/whatevs at all…also still not makeup…deal with it):

Super smooth! With zero additional heat styling! Success! It feels really soft, too, and the smell is also quite pleasant.

Not Your Mother’s Smooth Moves Frizz Control Hair Cream = A+

Welp, that’s all I’ve tried from the VoxBox so far. I still have three more products to review, so keep an eye out for that next week.

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think?